Tareen questions criteria of govt audit of his sugar mills | Pakistan Today

Tareen questions criteria of govt audit of his sugar mills

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, who is under fire over his alleged involvement in the sugar crisis, has questioned the criteria behind the audit of his nine sugar mills and the selection process by the committee formed to probe the matter.

The PTI leader said that he does not object to the audit of his sugar mills under the committee.

“Will the commission discover the reality behind all the sugar mills in Pakistan after conducting an audit of the nine mills?” said the businessman.

The PTI senior leader reportedly had a fallout with Prime Minister Imran Khan after a Federal Investigation Agency’s report on the sugar crisis named him, along with Khusro Bakhtiar’s brother, as persons who benefitted the most from the episode.

Following the investigation into the price hike that came under the premier’s radar back in February, the report stirred up a storm for some top ministers and PTI leaders.

Despite a heavy shuffling in the federal cabinet, including a change in portfolio of food security minister Khusro Bakhtiar, President Arif Alvi had said that the PTI government is not in troubled waters.

The prime minister and the president both put their weight behind the detailed forensic report, with the former threatening strict action against profiteers.

“I await the detailed forensic reports now by the high-powered commission, which will come out on 25 April, before taking action,” the prime minister had said in a tweet.

Tareen had responded to the revelations made in the report, saying he would challenge the committee investigating the sugar and wheat crises if it held him responsible.

Tareen, PTI’s former general secretary, said that out of the Rs3bn subsidy to the sugar mills, Rs2.5bn were given when the PML-N was in power.

In an earlier tweet, Tareen provided explanation on the crisis.

“Some points to note on sugar inquiry report (1)..My companies exported 12.28% while my market share is 20% so less than I could Have
(2). Export was on first come First serve basis (3) Of the total Rs 3 bn subsidy rec’d Rs 2.5 Bn came when N was in power and I was in opposition,” he tweeted.

Earlier, a report by the FIA had claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country. Among the people named were Jahangir Khan Tareen and Bakhtiar’s brother.

The report also claimed that the companies belonging to Moonis Elahi profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s son and a key member of the PML-Q, an ally of the ruling party.

The document did not mention under whose influence the government of Punjab had issued the subsidies to sugar mills or why the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) had approved the decision to export sugar.



One Comment;

  1. samir sardana said:

    Imran Khan is facing a sugar crisis in his nation

    Risk in the sugar business ?

    Y is “Sugar Daddy Jehangir Tareen (SDJT)”, in the Sugar business ?

    The misconception.

    It is no risk business.The CEO of the mill can see his raw material in the fields,from his glass windows.The owner of the raw material is waiting to sell ,he has to sell – as there is no storage and storage is not possible, and he has to sell to the nearest mill (to save on freight and moisture)- at the quality and other specs of the mills,and then await payments for months. Can there be a better business ? dindooohindoo

    The users of the end product are in the billions.The user in Pakistan WILL NOT PAY beyond a certain price – and they voted in the govtt.If some sugar mills close down – by strategy – the govtt will fall and there will be a Tahrir,as sugar stock draw down from Govtt warehouses takes time – and in riots – no logistics is possible. Even imports will take months,and then it has to be evacuated from the ports.

    Tbe user price can’t fall below a certain floor,as then the mills will close down,and there will no cane purchases,and also no cane payments for old bills.This also ensures no large scale imports.The cane growers,are also in the millions,and are another vote bank.So there is a cap-collar option on sugar prices – for the mill owner.If prices fall,the state has to offset the losses for the mill,and also waive interest and warehouse charges and offer compensation equal to the opportunity cost of capital employed in the operations.Hence,the cost of the cap-collar options is borne by the state.There is no other business like this in the world.

    Any business which relies on the state,for policies – dooms the industry.As a result, the Pakistani state has no clue of the actual operations of the sugar and cane supply chain and value chain – from costing to manufacturing to stock.That is also to the advantage of the businessmen – as the perception of unviable sugar units,ensures that the sugar units can inflate costs and hide stocks.This ensures that they keep getting subsidies.drawbacks,capital subsidies,soft loans,trade swaps, power export and wheeling incentives etc., and also,they can create shortages and price spikes, at will, in any part of Pakistan.

    A doomed sugar industry,also,is in the interest of the sugar tycoon – as they can close down the operations of any marginally viable or loss making or vulnerable unit,at will, by choking off working capital,or a truckers strike or diverting the raw material supplies of the unit.This is enough to cause panic and doom,in the sugar wholesale market.

    Holding stocks of cane,bagasse and sugar for 8-9 months and delays in payment of power exports – has a number to it – in terms of working capital cost.It is not a risk,and is part of the Business Model of a sugar unit,and the cost of working capital,can also be waived off – as interest subsidy or CDR/OTS,as the State has an interest in keeping the polity in power.The fact that,at the time of making the procurement of material,the price of the end product 9 months ahead,is nor known – is also,not a risk,and is,instead an opportunity,as all costs are, in effect, a pass-through to the state.

    Since cane is no brain business,there will always be excess cane production and excess sugar stocks,and since the state has to fix the purchase prices of cane and sale prices,in the open market – and also, the terms of loans and incentives to units – the state will always goof it up.

    When they goof – prices will spike – and that is when the mill owners sell the unaccounted sugar stocks.When there is a reverse goof,id.est,large stocks and working capital shortage – the mill owners push the state to export.At that time,the inflated cost sheets and perceptions of poor manufacturing operations and yields and storage losses,ensures the highest inflated cost.Highest inflated cost ensures maximum subsidy and also maximum ad valorem drawback.

    Drawback is refund of non vatable taxes acros the supply and value chain,and subsidy is the export price differential (on landed cost basis in a target market).

    Hence,the state is a PE co-investor in the sugar mill,with a sweat equity stake,and no voting rights and no dividend.What is better than that ? The cane growers are bankers to the mill who give clean credit for 8-9 months and accept all the deductions made by the mill.The Politicians are the “reverse fee clients”to the Consultants (mill owners), WHO PAY THE MILL (IN TERMS OF SOPS AND SUBSIDIES),FOR THE CONSULTING advice, given by the mill owners.

    In essence,the sugar mill is used by the polity,to make transfer payments to voters in agri areas – as an NGO – except that the NGO makes a CERTAIN INFINTE PROFIT % ON CAPITAL EMPLOUED

    Sugar mills get project loans at a 4:1 Debt.Equity Ratio,with capital and interest subsidies.If the project cost is inflated by 30% by using a mix of new and used machines, and 5% is paid to bankers and netas – then the equity is nil or negative.

    The mill owner has 2 income streams – Profit and Bonus.Bonus is selling unaccounted stocks,in price spikes,and earnings on export subsidies and drawbacks (on inflated costs and hawala exports and bogus exports).Profit is the cash profit earned,as the book profit is all bogus,as costs are inflated.A Sugar mill profit has not to be assessed quarterly or yearly,but when the entire supply and value chain of a crushing season,is conclusively liquidated and realised – net of all working capital costs.
    This makes the ROE,financially incalculable.

    WW3 or N-War or Covid – U need sugar.A human cannot eat palm oil or wheat or rice – as such – but can live on just sugar for some time.There is no business like sugar..Which is Y “Sugar Daddy Jehangir Tareen (SDJT)”,is in the Sugar business. He has found sugar buyers in the Taliban ? Sugar and Nuts = Ideal food for the mujahid.

    Bumper cane crop = good news for neta,as farmers happy and cane rates not hiked much for mill owner,and the netas are sure that retail rates are low.Disaster is for the state treasury,as large stock pile will be eaten by rats,or dumped in Kabul,with huge subsidy payments.Neta is happiest

    Bad Cane Crop = doom for neta and retail and economy.Imports will take time and the state will goof up,and retail will price in hike,3-4 months before import orders are placed.Marginal cane mills are also doomed – farmers will just die.But mill owners who have plantations (as all karge units have – on principles of Strategic sourcing and backward integration into plantations) will thrive,as they will have captive supply,and will engineer farm riots and suicides,to rig up cane prices – which is a pass-through to the state – on marginal and imputed costs.Then SDJT will tell media – “How do I gain by increased sugarcane prices” with a non=plussed expression – only for the cameras.

    A sugar mill is a power plant,which also,incidentally makes sugar,and the price of the raw material,is a pass-through (to the state – on a loaded marginal and opportunity cost) and the by-product (sugar) supply chain,can be choked at any time,by the mill owners.

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